I have always thought of Pinterest as something of a fantasy website; a place where people go essentially windowshop online and imagine a world where they have all these nice things. They can pick out all the things they would just love love love to have, but also know that they never will.
But Pinterest is not content to just give its users the fantasy; it wants them to be able to live it too. And the network took a big step in that direction Thursday by introducing a new feature that will send them price alerts when the price of one of their pins drops.
"You know that giddiness you get when something you’ve wanted forever is suddenly a little (or maybe a lot) cheaper? Well, we’re bringing that saving feeling to Pinterest!" Jeffrey Warren, Software Engineering Intern at Pinterest, wrote.
The feature works in conjunction with a rollout of Product Pins in May, which included information such as pricing, availability, and where to buy the item.
Initial partners for these pins were Anthropologie, Asos, BHLDN, eBay, Etsy, Free People, Home Depot, Modcloth, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Overstock, REI, Sephora, Shopify shops, Shop Terrain, Sony, Target, Urban Outfitters, Walmart, Wayfair and Zulily.
Users do not have to do anything to get the new price alerts, and Pinterest promises to try to group them into a single email, as to not becoming a nuisance that clogs up their users' inboxes.
The feature is also rolling out slowly, Warren noted, so users may not get their updates right away.
It is important for Pinterest's future monetization to show that it can take its initial idea, a place for people to look at cool stuff, and convert that idea into actual sales. The more that businesses see Pinterest as a place that can actually move their products, the deeper those relationships will go.
And so the up and coming social network has shown major interest in becoming a transaction hub for businesses, starting with the creation of business accounts in November of last year.
Pinterest also introduced new tools for them to use on those accounts. including a verification badge, which is meant to people identify high-quality sources of content and more easily find the business they want in search results, and new buttons and widgets, such as the Pin It button, Follow button, and Profile widget, which are meant to increase engagement from pinners and traffic back the business website.
In March, Pinterest launched an analytics tool to help businesses see how much traffic Pinterest has referred to their websites.
The tool provides information to business clients regarding activity on their Pinterest accounts, including how frequently users are clicking on their photos.
San Francisco-based Pinterest was launched in March 2010. The company has raised a total of $338 million since then.
In February, Pinterest raised $200 million in a round of funding that was led by Valiant Capital Management, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital. The new round valued the company at $2.5 billion.
(Image source: http://blog.pinterest.com)